A rash of news stories in recent weeks suggest panicked investors are pulling their money out of Scotland.
Uncertainty over tomorrow’s independence referendum has wiped billions off the value of Scottish businesses, we have been told.
Other reports have suggested that potential buyers are dithering over house purchases, and that investors and pension savers have been shifting assets out of Scotland.
Has there been significant “capital flight” from Scotland – or is this another example of what First Minister Alex Salmond has called “increasingly desperate and absurd scare stories”?
On 8 September a YouGov poll put the yes camp in the lead for the first time. Several newspapers reported that billions were wiped off the value of Scottish businesses as a result.
But share prices go up and down all the time. They can plummet one day and bounce back the next. Is there a long-term trend of investors selling their assets in Scotland’s biggest businesses?
In a word : no, according to two experts who have tracked the performance of Scottish firms since the 1950s.
Professor Paul Marsh from London Business School and Scott Evans from Walbrook Economics have produced what they call the Scotsie 100 – an index of the 100 companies traded in London but headquartered in Scotland.
The five biggest are: Scottish and Southern Energy, Standard Life, Royal Bank of Scotland, Aberdeen Asset Management and Weir Group.
What has happened to the value of the Scotsie 100 companies compared to stocks in the rest of the UK in September? (more…)